ADK paddling

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Years ago on a return car trip from NC our family drove through the ADK . It is absolutely breathtaking. I’ve found some information here:
http://www.adkforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=62
I’m looking for a bit more information for route planning/wishing. I’ve been coming across Lake Lila, Low’s Lake, and Long Lake, and they sound really nice. Also St.Regis is popping up on blogs, but again the route info is scarce. I’m probably not looking in the right places. I’m not sure where to look for ADK paddling.
We are pondering an October trip, either consisting of a couple 3 day trips, or a full week or so, or a couple base camping destinations would also be great. Are there fees? I think there is a “60 canoe route book” out there somewhere (or was that for Maine?). If so, would you recommend it? We’re not bothered whether they’re loops or linear routes, they’re all good the first time. Are there local outfitters with maps etc?
Thanks for any and all suggestions.
Brad
 
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Congratulations on your discovery of my back yard... There are so many options, depending on what you want to do. I would recommend visiting the route suggestions of St. Regis Outfitters:
http://www.canoeoutfitters.com/trip-planning/routes
and its list of helpful links for your visit:
http://www.canoeoutfitters.com/trip-planning/helpful-links

Most especially I recommend the paddlers map and accompanying paddler's guide book, written by my friend Dave Cilley (who happens to own St.R.O.). Find both here:
http://www.canoeoutfitters.com/store/maps-guidebooks

You will find lots of help on the adkforum. Have you joined?
 
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And best of all? It's FREE! Just drive up, park, carry your stuff to the water, and go...

+1 on the usefulness of the aforementioned map and book... They live on my nightstand bookshelf... excellent for dreaming over in the depths of winter. Not that I get winter anymore, living in LA... but I grew up going to Low's in the summer, to the scout camp there... and I really miss it... go back every chance I get. October is nice... still warm, no bugs, but all the families are back to work/school after labor day, so it's just the die-hard canoeists out there. and the leaves start to turn somewhere in that timeframe.
 
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http://tupperlake.net/stregis.htm

Get Dave Cilley's map and guidebook. Leaves are down about Oct 15. Color starts in Sept. June is the best season but the bugs can deter some. Fall is still nice. Be aware that some campgrounds (if you are using for a base camp) close pretty early. Fish Creek, that many use for a night or the night before is open later in the season than most.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/permits_ej_operations_pdf/2013facilityinfo.pdf

The summer can get crowded and canoe route campsites are first come first served.

Little Tupper Lake is known also as the Whitney Tract.

This is kind of fun to play with.. Region 5 and 6

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45415.html
 
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You have a beautiful backyard YKN. I showed my wife some photos tonight over supper, and she’s awestruck. I’ve started going through the links you gave me, and they are extremely helpful. I seriously underestimated the route options there.
I haven’t joined the ADK forum. It looks like a great site, but not having visited the ADK, I’m not sure what I have to offer folks on the forum – except for a lot of questions. Maybe they wouldn’t mind if I dropped in? Your recommendations YKN, Seeker, and YC of the paddler’s map and booklet have convinced me to order them. I see Dave Cilley hand drew the maps. I like the artistic touch to that. I know what you mean Seeker, I love having a library at home, filled with familiar friendly covers looking back at me. The history looks intriguing as well. My brothers and I never went to camp, nor were we scouts. Our aunt in Detroit (bless her) was a den mother for a boy scout troop. When we visited my aunt and uncle, she would show us her scout guide books. We found them absolutely wonderful, filled with projects and skills, hand signals and crafts…She eventually gave them to us. I hope one of my brothers still have them.
Wow YC, colour starts in September? Thanks for the heads up. I guess it’s the altitude? A late September trip might be a better choice. We’d like to be able to swim as well. A base camp trip I had in mind would involve paddling in to a site and exploring from there on day paddles. I had no idea there were so many longer routes. I’ll look into outfitter shuttles. I love that SLIM site. I love maps. I took a cartography course in University (a century ago), and loved tracing maps on a light table. This was pre-computer lab days. My son now works with a mapping software company, and tries to show me “some really useful and cool stuff”. Blah blah blah, blah blah. I’m determined some of it will sink in eventually, but it’s gonna take time.
Thanks for all this info friends, I have a lot to study.
Take care, Brad.
 
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...Our aunt in Detroit (bless her) was a den mother for a boy scout troop. When we visited my aunt and uncle, she would show us her scout guide books. We found them absolutely wonderful, filled with projects and skills, hand signals and crafts…She eventually gave them to us. I hope one of my brothers still have them.
Brad, I think you would really enjoy and gain a tremendous amount of information from the new edition of the Boy Scout Fieldbook (different from the BSA Handbook, don't confuse the two).

http://fieldbook.scouting.org/ (click on the menubar to see a synopsis of each chapter)

Order from Scoutstuff
http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsar-4th-edition-fieldbook.html

The New York State outdoor guide's license exam has more than 50% of the exam questions taken directly directly from this resource, and is recommended reading for prospective licensed guides.
 
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Thanks for that link YNKPDLR, and you're right. I must remember handbooks, not guidebooks. The guide book looks fascinating, I'm going to check it out. Thanks.
 
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I went to college just outside the Blue Line and learned canoeing in the Adirondacks. Back in the '60's you found out about canoe routes from an old DEC publication.. and that was just basically the Maine Line from Old Forge to Saranac..with a couple of branches. I did have a prof at St Lawrence, Paul Jamieson who eventually wrote two guidebooks about paddling the ADK's that were pretty detailed but lacking in maps. The ADK Paddlers Guide is much clearer..

Sadly there are way more people paddling there now than then but if you can pick your shoulder season, it is wonderful. Yes the Adirondacks have a base elevation of 1700 or so feet so its not just the mountain tops that get color earlier.

I don't get that way as much..maybe ten days in the summer to teach canoeing..otherwise there are lots of similar trips here in Maine..so many lakes so little time.. Scenery similar.

This pic was taken at the end of Sept at Fish Creek. We had a Placid Boatworks paddling weekend



This from the top of Mt Van Hoevenberg..again something like Sept 28

 
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I think September is the best time for paddling the Adirondacks. Typically warm days and cool nights plus uncrowded.

I have been paddling there for the last five years and never had a bad day!
 
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It’s funny you should mention Maine YC. While planning our first ever paddling trip, my best friend and I became discouraged with the shuttling necessary for our dream destination – Allagash. We settled for doing loops in Algonquin, despite it being farther to drive from our homes in Quebec? We never did go to Maine. Someday I hope to. Like our OBX car/beach trip this summer, side trips to paddle are certainly an option. My wife simply stares at me in wonder, as I’m so incapable of thinking in a multitasking mode. No reason not to combine a variety of destinations and activities. My honey is trying relentlessly to drag me “down east” for a lengthy trip. I’m sure that when I do, I may never want to come back. In the meantime, ADK is a mere 6-7 hrs drive, and that scenery is a million miles from everywhere. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of that view Shiraz. A 10 day visit of the area is climbing up our vacation agenda for 2013. And yes, I add to my wish list faster than I can accomplish them. I’m not retired, so there are conflicts and schedules.
The increased backcountry traffic is a two edged sword. I used to abhor the elitist attitude of having remote natural treasures only for those with the means to get there. My thinking is far fuzzier nowadays. I love meeting people in canoe country, I really do, I’d just like to meet fewer of them. (OMG I can’t believe I just said that).
 
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When the time comes we can fix you up with shuttle info. Its not that daunting a task for most routes though Robin will attest that finding a shuttle on the Machias (pretty remote) is not easy. True most do require a shuttle but the Bow trip near Jackman is a wonderful free, loop of three to four days.

More eye candy from the Adirondacks.. oops this is Maine



This is Lake Lila in the ADK's



Both trips were people less. ADK's in late Sept and the West Branch Penobscot just after ice out.
 
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Thanks for the info and the eye candy, you can never have too much of either. Last night was my wife’s birthday. I got home early and prepared a birthday dinner, and over wine showed her some photos of ADK. It wasn’t meant as an ambush, just a “hey honey, what do you think about this” kind of a thing. She’s ready to move vacation days around. I’m sure it wasn’t the chardonnay talking. If we can juggle work and a Temagami trip this fall, the ADK just might work. We’ll see. It doesn’t take much for me to lose self modesty, and bug people for ideas and opinions. Just a word of warning, and many, many thanks.
Take care. Brad
 
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My get up and go, got up and went. If we can squeeze ADK into September, Temagami will be an October lazy paddle down to Smoothwater. Hopefully we'll see colours in both places. I'm a romantic daydreamer. I'm a dawdling paddler. I've not seen Mt Nap, but I'm pretty sure I'll take a detour when we finally head that way, on our long list of routes there to be done. Mind you, I like dawdling on portages also.
 
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Brad,
You haven't mentioned anything about a willingness or reluctance to carrying. If you define your comfort level, I'm sure some of the ADK experienced folks can supply you with a few choice choices.
I have been camping and paddling the Adirondacks since the '60's (19, that is) and while there are more paddlers now, there are also many more opportunities and locations available. By September, there will likely be even more pristine waters to paddle, with NYS opening to the public a recent acquisition that was previously in private ownership for over 100 years.
September would be about the best time of year, colors at peak, bugs at a minmum, warm days, less people.
Take a look at my photos (link at bottom), I'm sure you'll want to visit one of those places!
And not to undermine the membership here, but do visit the ADKForum, there is a ton of useful info available just by using the search function. And most everyone there is more than willing to help out.
 
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Those are beautiful photos Strip. Thanks for sharing those. You have waaay more than one place I’d like to visit. Our plans are quite vague, as we’ve just started exploring the routes. We don’t mind carries at all, and can cover flat -water miles with no worries. I was just saying that my wife and I take our trips slow, paddling and carrying, and don’t push our selves. It’s just our frame of mind. We also change up our trips to suit our moods. One time we’ll paddle 3-4 hrs into a lake, and base camp there for several days, while another trip we’ll travel most days for a week long trip. I don’t recall having been out for more than 8-9 days, only because by then we’re rested and have “recharged our batteries”. We don’t know yet what we’ll choose, but I’m definitely going to visit the ADK forum, and most likely join. I know they’ll be friendly and helpful, just as folks are here. September is our favourite time up here as well, for all the same reasons.
 
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Brad,

Have you picked any spots yet? Are you going to settle down in a base camp and day trip? Or will you do a nomadic trip, moving every 3 days or so?
If you wait until October, scenes like this may await...


DSC_7018.JPG
 
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Hi Strip. We’re looking at a Monday to Friday trip. I was first interested in the L. Lila area. I was looking at the Little Tupper – Lila traverse, and then staying on Lila for the last 2 days. That would give us a chance to hike up Mt Frederica. Is this doable in 3 days? The boggy carries look both fun and intimidating. Will there be few crowds in mid September? I’m also considering the Floodwood L. to Tupper L. route. This route also leaves us time to stop and soak it all in. Do you have any thoughts?
 
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Brad,
Lila has become much more popular since the first time I was there in '83 (the Great Camp was still standing), midweek in September will be nice weather and you should be able to find a good campsite. I did the Little Tupper Lake to Lila traverse with my then 14 year old son, we took 1.5 days, should have slowed down and taken an extra day. We used mt bikes to complete the circuit. There has been a recent court decision that ruled that the public may pass through the privately held sections of the Shingle Shanty Brook, this was previously (for me, anyway)the least enjoyable carry. If you stayed for a couple of days at Lila, you would definitely enjoy it. There is a great little excursion up Harrington Brook, a section of the Beaver River to explore, the old Nehasne train station, and of course, Mt Frederica. The views from Frederica can be spectacular, many of the High Peaks are visible from the cliff ledges. There is also a bushwhack up another knob around Lila that's fun. Lila and LTL both have many natural beaches with great swimming and lounging.

Here's a view from Fredrica on a September day:

DSC_0058.JPG
 
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